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From first class Are you the same person you were 5 years ago? In what ways yes, in what ways no? If you have changed, then why/how? Can you decide to.

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Presentation on theme: "From first class Are you the same person you were 5 years ago? In what ways yes, in what ways no? If you have changed, then why/how? Can you decide to."— Presentation transcript:

1 From first class Are you the same person you were 5 years ago? In what ways yes, in what ways no? If you have changed, then why/how? Can you decide to change your personality and make it happen? If so, how could you make it happen?

2 Patterns of Personality Stability and Change Freud – developmental stages end by about age 6 "In most of us, by the age of 30, the character has set like plaster, and will never soften again.“ (W. James, 1887)

3 Personality Stability & Change To what degree is there stability or continuity in personality across time? Versus How much flexibility/malleability is there? Topics: 1.Evidence of continuity across time 2.Normative changes in personality 3.“Rank order” Stability in personality 4.Why might people change in different ways?

4 “Continuity” of personality Are characteristics at one time meaningfully related to different characteristics at another time? Evidence of coherent stability in personality Caspi, et al. (2003). Children's Behavioral Styles at Age 3 Are Linked to Their Adult Personality Traits at Age 26 Journal of Personality About participants Age 3 – Five temperamental types (Well-Adjusted, Confident, Under-controlled, Reserved, Inhibited) Age 26 – Personality ratings Informant-reported traits (BFI) Self-reported personality traits (MPQ)

5 Age 3 “types” Well-adjusted capable of self-control when it was demanded of them, were adequately self-confident, and who did not become unduly upset when confronting the examiner in a novel situation. Undercontrolled impulsive, restless, negativistic, distractible, and labile in their emotional responses. Confident adjusted to the testing situation quickly; they were zealous, exceptionally friendly, somewhat impulsive, eager to explore the testing materials, and displayed little or no concern about separating from their caregiver. Inhibited socially reticent, fearful, and easily upset by the examiner. Reserved were timid and somewhat uncomfortable in the testing session; however, unlike inhibited children their shyness was not extreme and their caution did not interfere with their task orientation.

6 “Continuity” of personality

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8 Personality Change Systematic changes in personality – do they exist and, if so, why? 1.In what ways does the average person change? – when? Which traits? Why? 2.Do people change in different ways, do differences between us change or are they relatively stable? 3.What might cause some people to change more than others?

9 What kind of change v stability? 1. Normative change: Change vs Stability in “Average Person” In general, do people become more or less Extraverted, etc? 2. Rank order stability: Change vs stability of individual differences To what degree to the differences among us on Extraversion remain stable? If you are relatively extraverted today (compared to other people your age), are you likely be relatively extraverted later (compared to other people of your age at that time)

10 What kind of change? “Changing avg” and “changing diffs” are independent issues: Time 1Time 2 Trait Level Low High George John Ringo Paul Time 1Time 2 George John Ringo Paul Trait Level Low High Time 1Time 2 George John Ringo Paul Trait Level Low High Time 1Time 2 George John Ringo Paul Trait Level Low High

11 Changes in “Average” Personality – When? Personality change through the life course - Predictions for change from age 20 to 60?? Neuroticism Agreeableness Extraversion Conscientiousness Openness to Experience

12 Changes in Average Personality – When? From: McCrae, et al. (1999). Age differences in personality across the adult life span: Parallels in five cultures. Developmental Psychology Survey 4 age groups: 18-21, 22-29, 30-49, 50+ Each from 5 different cultures. Germany, Korea, Croatia, Portugal, Italy Measure the Big 5 and compare mean scores of the different age groups.

13 Changes in Average Personality – When? (Personality change in German sample) Trait Mean Trait Level Age

14 Changes in Average Personality – When? (Personality change in Korean sample) Trait Mean Trait Level Age

15 Changes in Average Personality – Why? Why would personality change this way? Social roles change (env – reinf contingencies) Genetically-programmed change, to match biological demands associated with different ages This study is cross-sectional – cohort effects?

16 Longitudinal Study (Soto & John, 2012) Increases in Agreeableness and Conscientiousness

17 But “Factor” Level might miss changes in “narrower” facets

18 Personality Change Systematic changes in personality – do they exist and, if so, why? 1.In what ways does the average person change? – when? Which traits? Why? 2.Do differences between us change or are they relatively stable? 3.What might cause some people to change more than others?

19 Change vs Stability of Individual Differences Do differences between us change or are they relatively stable? From: Costa & McCrae (1988). Journal of Personality and Social Psych Sample size = (depending on trait) Avg age = 55 (range 19-96) Self-report personality assessments: 6-yr interval for N, E, O 3-yr interval for A, C

20 Change vs Stability of Individual Differences Do differences between us change or are they relatively stable? Stability correlations - corrs between scores at 1 st assessment and scores at 2 nd assess. (6 or 3 years later) N.83A.63 E.82C.79 O.83

21 What kind of change? Time 1Time 2 Trait Level Low High George John Ringo Paul Time 1Time 2 George John Ringo Paul Trait Level Low High Time 1Time 2 Paul Georg Condoleeza Ringo John Trait Level Low High Time 1Time 2 Trait Level Low High George John Ringo Paul N, r=.83A, r=.63E, r=.82C, r=.79O, r=.83

22 Why do people change in different ways? Evidence for what drive lasting personality change in adulthood? Biology – evidence for effects on states Environment – any evidence systematically linking specific environmental events/situations to patterns of change in specific traits?

23 Why do people change in different ways? Some evidence for Environmental effects on adult personality change Life Situation/ EventEffectsSource Poor relationship quality Increases in Neuroticism, Decreases in Agreeableness Robins et al. (2002) DivorceDecreases in “dominance”Roberts et al. (2002) note, all-female sample Marital tension & dissatisfaction Increased Neuroticism, Decreased Conscientiousness Roberts & Chapman (2000); Roberts & Bogg (2004) Marriage/re-marriageDecreased NeuroticismMroczek Sprio (2003) – note, male veterans Time spent marriedIncreased Emotional Stability, Conscientiousness Roberts & Bogg (2004) Work success/satisfaction Increased Ext, Conc, Decreased NRoberts, 1997; Roberts et al. 2003; Roberts & Chapman, 2000; Scollon & Diener, 2006

24 Interpretation of empirical findings “……. personality traits continue to develop throughout the lifespan. Clearly, Freud’s notion that personality traits are completely developed by age 5 is incorrect. Moreover, James’ idea that personality is set like plaster upon reaching adulthood is no longer tenable….. At a population level, personality traits show moderate levels of rank-order consistency that increase with age, they show normative trends, in that most people become more mature with age, and they exhibit modest levels of individual differences in change which are related to life experiences.” (Roberts et al., 2006)


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